A doting mother waits
In expectation of a windfall!
With a secret joy-
A quiet knowledge,
An earnest prayer
29 March, 2010 …
No, I am not plagiarizing a beautiful title, of a well known Hollywood actress’ biography (Joan Crawford’s by her adopted daughter). Rather, hot on the heels of Mothers’ Day, is yet another special one for me. Mine grows another year younger, and it’s about time I acknowledged that one 🙂 🙂
My SB said to me the other day, amma, you know we’ve been together the last almost 22 years, and it’s going to be difficult na, when I go? I mean, you’ve known me only a part of your life, but I’ve known you all my life! 😆 Understatement, isn’t it? Of course he was just rehashing an old cliché!! But that is the point I’m trying to make. All our lives, we know one person the mostest, I think, our mother, sometimes, more than our father. In India at least :D! And so it is with Mom. Yes, I call her Mummy, Mom, Maaaaa… somehow never got around to calling her Amma, though my kids call me that. On my insistence! My paternal grandma, at her insistence, was called Amma by my brothers and I. That is another story for another rainy-no-muse day :)!
Mom has been the strongest pillar of our family. Not just us, but even hers, I sometimes think. She takes after her own mother, who I have already described in “A Woman Extraordinaire”, with a zest for life, and an unconditional and uninhibited go-for-it attitude to life. She, like me, is the ham of a club sandwich, the 5th of 10 children her parents had. 11 if you were to count the oldest, a half brother. Life was tough as they grew, she and her siblings; lots of ancestral property managed by the Kaarnavar, or the eldest Maternal Uncle, the head of the family, entirely matriarchal… a childhood of getting, not much at all, just enough to live, dreaming of things, rushing about doing a 100 jobs around the place, along with the others. Going to school, walking over 3 miles up, then down again; taking turns to carry the large tiffin carrier; being denied further studies after her 10th, which only she and her youngest sister passed, because she had been seen, approved and was to be married off!! Tough times. Times that could, I have felt, crushed one with a weaker spirit.
So almost 50 years ago, she got married, a charming 17 year old, to a handsome tall dashing young navy man. My Dad. Though there are times we, both mom n I, rave and rant about men, I have always felt she was lucky, way luckier than her sisters, cousins, relatives, heck, even me :P! But then, I am biased am I not? She got married to my .. MY dad :D! Tougher times ahead, unfortunately! Being the wife of an only son has its problems. A possessive mother in law, who, though never abusive or hurtful, was possessive enough to make things difficult! But, yet again, she was lucky in that she was able to join Dad and travel with him on his various postings. And then of course, she had us 🙂 🙂 🙂 Lucky her! Lol!
With just a year between my EB and me, it was difficult for her to manage us, especially with Dad off sailing for long periods. But manage she did, and beautifully. For, in an alien city, Mumbai, with alien language and customs, she took to it all like a duck to water, and sailed through with flying colours. In Delhi too, the same happened.
She has taken us to heights, and been with us through all our lows, been firm, yet loosened the bonds and apron strings when required, and kept us grounded and level headed through everything. Just everything. Be it the double fractures my EB had, the sickly chap my YB was, the rebel I became through my adolescence… right through it all, like a rock, she was there, always there. Never preachy, though she had and still has a booming voice when she gets mad 😉 😉 Dad was also there, but he was the strong and silent type back then 🙂 Now he is just the opposite, ever since his grandchildren got him to open up 🙂 🙂
You see, she grows younger as I have already said. She gels instantly with persons of all ages. It takes just a few seconds to get anyone talking, with her listening and drawing them out. She never holds back, be it advice sometimes, knocking common sense sometimes, listening, encouraging, consoling. There are very very few people I have come across who can reach out the way she has. In fact even my kids’ gang of friends are her friends; she never holds back; nothing, absolutely nothing!
When she knew I was going to be alone, in a few months time, there was no, why don’t you come down here, or shall we come there… just a reminder to be stronger, and have real expectations 🙂 And while we still agree to disagree on a lot of issues, the bonds are stronger than ever. She guides, unhesitatingly, and silently. Waits. Never nags, or asks. It’s cool, either way. She gives us space. Our own, and asks we never trample on hers :D!!
Linda Goodman, in her Sun Signs, speaks of the Taurean Woman as someone who walks tall. That’s her, my mother. She’s barely above 5 feet, but towers in ways we never could. To her indomitable spirit, and endless enthusiasm, not to forget her sheer gregarious spirit, here’s a toast! For health, peace of mind (she says that is fairy tale :D), for smiles each day, and less pain, esp around the knee 🙂 :)… (she’s going to blow a fuse when I show her this one, but it will be worth it! )Since she has already approved the Vishu and Thrissur Pooram posts, I think I might strike lucky with a third I share with her 🙂 🙂
Mummy, you’re the best. That is why even we are 🙂 Happy Birthday! May you grow even more years younger, each passing day 🙂 🙂 And may we be blessed to have your grace with us, always 🙂
The slide above has been prepared by my sister in law 🙂 Thanks Trips and Vinu, for saying is so beautifully for all of us 🙂 🙂
(Click on pic to enlarge, to read the beautiful words they have written 🙂 )
11 May, 2010, for 15 May, 2010
This is also for my MOM 🙂
Today is special. It is Vishu. It is also my EB’s birthday 🙂 (Elder Brother). Happy birthday to another special Arien, and also to a year, reborn again, bringing with it hope for a better tomorrow.
കൈ നിറയെ കൊന്ന പൂവും, നിറപറയും, നിലവിളക്കും, മനസ്സുനിറയെ സ്നേഹഹവുമായി വിഷുവിനെ വരവേല്ക്കാം … 🙂
If you are seeing the above in “????” or a whole lot of little squares, you probably do not have the malayalam font! I’ll just transliterate for you, in English.. “Kai niraye konna poovum, niraparayum, nilavilakkum, manassuniraye snehavumaayi vishuvine varavelkkam ”
Meaning to say:
“With our hands and hearts full of the beauty, and the golden sheen of the konna flowers (cassia fistula, or indian laburnum), the fullness of a nirapara ( a measure of paddy, in golden grain), and the light of a lamp lit on the morning of Vishu, let us welcome it with our hearts full of love…”
A nirapara looks like this 🙂
(Have taken the image from a search engine, and it belongs to flickr.com )
The Kani Konna (- Cassia Fistula, a lot like the laburnum) is the flower of Vishu. Gorgeous chandelier like flowers in the sunshiniest yellow golden, filling the tree, our eyes and our hearts, come Vishu 🙂 It is the key to the Vishu Kani (what you ought to see- kani- the first thing when you open your eyes on Vishu day 🙂 )Here is the tree, at my parents, taken about a week ago… a beautiful sight!
The Vishu Kani, mom’s
The lamp at the nearest end, is called a Maadambi (മാടമ്പി)- It is pretty ancient, a family heirloom, has a wooden stand, on which is placed the brass lamp. Mom uses it only on special occasions. The nilavilakku is at the far end, on the other side of the uruli (ഉരുളി), the brass basin in which the kani is arranged. The pic above is when she arranged it, and below, when it was time for the kani, at 4 am 🙂
Incidentally, I was tweeted as to why a mirror is placed in the vishukani. I have been told it is because we need to see ouselves, the best in ourselves, to appreciate the Godhead in us, as we prepare to start a new year, with this auspicious sight! It figures then, I think that you need to love yourself, and respect yourself, to be able to see in oneself the Godhead, isn’t it? I like that viewpoint, immensely 🙂 🙂
The chakka (ചക്ക)… jackfruit, is then taken out, after the kani (കണി), and facing eastwards, it is cut 🙂 That is mom doing it the naadan (നാടന്), the traditional way with a mazhu (മഴു).. or axe 🙂 And below, the halves arranged, for a few seconds left as it is 🙂 🙂
I am also told, that Vishu begins the cycle of rain patterns, the njattuvela (ഞാറ്റുവേല)… 🙂 Today marks the ashwathy njattuvela (അശ്വതി ഞാറ്റുവേല), and it is likely to rain soon 🙂 Each of the 27 stars has its own pattern, with the rohini, makayiryam, thiruvathira, (രോഹിണി, മകീരം, തിരുവാതിര) bringing in the most amount of rain, which is so essential for the farmers.
Today is also the day when it is most auspicious to sow a few seeds, being the ashwathy njattuvel 🙂 ((അശ്വതി ഞാറ്റുവേല))
*Whew! Wipes sweat off her brow* This has been satisfying, but hard work. Finding a transliteration page to work with, and finally opening the google transliteration malayalam page, to write there, and copy paste the malayalam here. But it seems to be worth it!
Have a wonderful year ahead, everyone!
സര്വ ഐശ്വര്യങ്ങള് കൂടിയ വിഷുദിനാശംസകള്
Wishing the best of the season, for Vishu, greetings and blessings…
15 April, 2010
Edited to add on 18th April, 2010:
Found this video, of a favourite song , in Malayalam, Kani Kaanum neram (കണി കാണും നേരം കമല നേത്രന്ടെ) on Sindhu’s FB wall 🙂 Thanks Sindhu 🙂 Just to share, because I know those who love this song will certain find it in the right post 🙂
*This one is for the SB… 🙂 who makes me realize each day, how much more I have to learn, appreciate, and love 🙂 Thanks a zillion, sweetheart 🙂
Now that I am officially twenty-five years old, the X-files option to disclose is finally here!
By the way, why does to reveal have a word like “disclose”, to express it? Strange are the ways of the English Language! This will further get me into rambling about the vagaries of a favourite language of mine, so I had better stop before I start! 😛
Ah! You’re still here, and reading? Maybe you’re wondering what on earth I am going to disclose… 😉 Just a status message on Facebook, by the SB wishing his brother a Happy Birthday, that goes like this 🙂
Happy b’day Arjun Muralidharan on ur 25th 🙂 It was nice growing up with someone like you, – someone to lean on, someone to count on… someone to tell on! 🙂 😛 😀 Hav a great yeah ahead!!
And his response?
Thanks bro.. wat do i say.. cudn hav done it without you. All those years, those games, those rides.. seems like it was yesterday and i sure do wish like hell it will remain like that forever. Though i shud say, i hate it wen u keep growing up.. i always wish ud remain “chotu” Love u loads.. BRO
I am reminded of the song, from Ram Lakhan, “Mere Do Anmol Ratan”, that I love so much.
That’s them… 🙂
And what I feel most blessed is that the SB has found words, to express so beautifully his feelings! Prouder yet again, am I, of him :), for he has borne the brunt of many a dark day I have gone through, being there for me, always, but always… 🙂 And though we fight the hardest, 😛 :P, I know he will be the one who will pull me through the fires I burn in 🙂 🙂
Ash 🙂 You’re the coolest, most happening person, ever 🙂 Thank you, for you 🙂
And though I don’t need to say it… Love you… 🙂
13 April, 2010
What a liar! How can she go public with such a blatant untruth?!
Pssst… well, when you think of it, do you think…? Naah! How the heck?
Lol! The moment those familiar with this space read this blog post title, these must have been the thoughts that flitted through their minds? I’m just double-guessing, but I guess I probably would too… :D!
Well truth be told, this is true, you know. Maa kasam! (Pun intended :P- you’ll figure out the pun soon enough! 😆 ) I wrote about the first of the twenty-five birthdays on this very space, about a year ago. In fact that post still holds the record of the highest number of hits for a post, ever, on Overdrive :). I loved writing it, and also, this one, on A Quest, the other blog I am at 🙂
By now, hopefully, the truth of the title will have been accepted without doubt! I wanted to share this here, and today, because the FB has gone public on Facebook about this very event! (FB as in First Born, please note 🙂 )
The Sun Child write is very special one, for it worked magic 🙂 It was written years before the FB was born, and at that time, even the thought of marriage was far from my mind :P! The magic is that he turned out exactly the way I describe My Sun Child… not at all fussy, gregarious, pet lover, still dreamy… 🙂 Each time I read it, I am amazed at the way things turned out! He is an Arien, a Sun Child too!
He celebrated the occasion with his friends on Marine Drive, cake cutting and smashin and sploshing on his face… why they do this is beyond me, still! :o!
We, ie the SB and I celebrated too. We baked chocolate cakes and made it into a Black Forest (or so I like to call it… 😛 )… complete with whipped cream and cherries.. though we forgot the chocolate shavings… 🙂 Here’s how it happened:
Two chocolate cakes baked in a pressure cooker 🙂
Layered over each other, and slathered with whipped cream, on an overturned steel plate 🙂
Piping around the edges with Mehendi cone like apparatus made out of plastic covers, for lack of the real things :P!
More decorations… and finally…..
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARJUN!!!!
Now you will perhaps agree the blog post is not lying 🙂 🙂
12 April, 2010
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